Sarah Silverman Files Lawsuit Against Meta and OpenAI Alleging Copyright Violations

A group of prominent individuals from the entertainment and literary world has recently initiated legal action against two tech giants, Meta Platforms and OpenAI. Sarah Silverman, a renowned American comedian and author, joined forces with Richard Kadrey and Christopher Golden to file lawsuits against Meta’s LLaMa and OpenAI’s ChatGPT, accusing them of copyright infringement.

The plaintiffs claim that Meta and OpenAI employed their copyrighted content to train their respective artificial intelligence (AI) systems without obtaining proper permission. Court documents submitted against Meta reveal that a significant number of books owned by the plaintiffs, which are protected by copyright, were found in the data set that “Meta has admitted to using to train LLaMa.”

Similarly, in the lawsuit filed against OpenAI, it is alleged that when ChatGPT generates summaries of the plaintiffs’ work, it demonstrates the use of copyrighted material during training. The lawsuit acknowledges that while some of the generated summaries contain inaccuracies, which is not surprising given the nature of a large language model incorporating diverse content from various sources, the majority of the summaries remain faithful to the original works.

The companies are accused of sourcing the copyrighted data from unauthorized platforms commonly referred to as “shadow libraries,” such as Bibliotik, Library Genesis, Z-Library, and others. These shadow libraries employ torrent systems to make books available en masse, although their operations violate copyright laws. It is important to differentiate them from open-source databases like Gutenberg, which collect books that are no longer protected by copyright.

The AI training community has long been attracted to these shadow libraries due to the vast amount of copyrighted material they host. In addition to their personal copyright infringement claims, the authors have filed the complaint on behalf of a class of copyright owners throughout the United States who allegedly experienced similar infringements.

CryptoGrafos contacted OpenAI and Meta for comment regarding the case, but as of now, neither company has responded to the inquiry.

This legal action comes on the heels of a recent authorized strike by members of the Writers Guild of America, which took place in May. The strike, the first in 15 years, shed light on various issues plaguing the industry, including the use of AI technology. Writers across the United States raised concerns about the impact of AI on their profession during the strike.

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